October 3, 2017

Liberals need to stop going alone on gun safety laws

Sam Smith - A major reason we don't have better gun safety laws is because liberals have fought the battle by themselves in what is increasingly a tone deaf fashion. We have long advocated  gun safety reforms that had the support of hunters and other gun owners. The price of going it alone was illustrated in 2014 when a bear baiting ban was put on the ballot by liberals in Maine which helped to secure the reelection of Maine's Trumpish governor, Paul LePage. As the Bangor Daily News;Mike Tipping reported, an "analysis indicates that the referendum drove turnout, especially for voters favoring the re-election of Maine governor Paul LePage. Controlling for people in the town who voted for LePage in 2010 and the power of median municipal household income, every four votes against Question 1 predicted an increase of 1 vote in support of Gov. LePage. High levels of opposition to the referendum (and in favor of keeping bear baiting legal) were predictive of 17% additional turnout in municipal totals."

The ban lost just like liberals lose their gun safety efforts. But working with hunters could produce quite a different result. Here's one example:

Hunters Against Gun Violence -  We are all hunters, former hunters and/or gun owners. We cherish our right to use firearms in a safe and responsible manner to pursue recreation and provide food for our families. We believe in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Court affirmed that the right to keep and bear arms is not absolute or unlimited, but is subject to regulation. Such regulations already include concealed weapons prohibitions, limits on the rights of felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of weapons in certain locations, laws imposing conditions on commercial sales, and prohibitions on the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.

We are deeply troubled by the increase in mass shootings and generally widespread use of guns in domestic violence, suicides and the incidental, unintended deaths due to careless use or storage of guns. Thus, we believe more gun safety regulation is needed. We also believe that such regulation is encouraged under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. We acknowledge that new regulation may involve some inconvenience to law-abiding gun owners and that it must be part of a comprehensive approach to reduce violence in our society.

Accordingly, we do not support the senseless proliferation of guns that have no relationship to, or utility for, reasonable self-defense, recreational use such as target shooting, or lawful hunting of game animals and varmints. Nor do we support the sale of guns or other lethal weapons to persons with a history of violent crime, spousal abuse or mental instability. So, we support universal background checks for gun purchases.

In addition, we support limitations on the size of magazines for center-fire weapons. The use of high capacity magazines cannot be justified for hunting, recreation or self-defense. In fact, high capacity magazines in rifles or shotguns are already illegal for use in almost all hunting in Colorado and most states. High capacity magazines were designed for military use, to provide the opportunity for maximum killing potential for members of our armed forces. There is no reason to provide such massive killing power for ordinary citizens interested in recreation, hunting, or defense against household intruders.

Citizens interested in the public good, in public safety, and in the curbing of senseless violence against innocent persons, must be encouraged to support common sense regulations. Such regulations can limit the proliferation of guns and gun magazines that have little use in the context of hunting, recreation or personal protection and yet enable the killing or injuring of large numbers of people in a very short period of time. We are dedicated to our right to use firearms in the context of hunting, self-defense and recreation. We are equally dedicated to the encouragement of gun regulations that can protect our communities from the military-style assaults and assassinations that have proven so difficult to police against when military-style weapons and ammunition are so readily available.

Huffington Post, 2016 - According to Pew Research, 85 percent of people with guns in their home support universal background checks. Another more recent poll puts that number at 92 percent. A third poll found that 74 percent of NRA members supported mandatory background checks. That leaves somewhere between 8 percent and 26 percent of gun owners and/or NRA members who are opposed to universal background checks. Does that mean that 74-92 percent of gun owners are anti-gun? That can hardly be the case, but that is what the gun industry and their special interest lobbyists want you to think. The NRA's own website calls highly supported universal background checks "anti-gun."

Background checks are not the only policy that most gun-owners support. A majority of gun-owners also support outlawing the sale of semi-automatic weapons and online sales of ammunition. Again, the NRA and their gun industry benefactors vehemently oppose these reasonable gun safety measures. 


Anonymous said...

I'm sure I've read you saying this yourself, Ssm: if a right can be limited, e.g. by requiring justification, imposing an upper bound to its exercise, etc -- it is NOT a right, it is a privilege.

Rights are democratic, with no limitation of class or person. But privileges are within the gift of the king, or king-substitute. They can be granted and revoked at will,

Want to know how to really solve the problem of gun violence, Sam? Solve the problem of violence in general. Intentional interpersonal violence is perpetrated by criminals in lieu of having access to the legal system, by people with certain types of psychosis, by psychopaths as a tool, and by ordinary poor people who have no other way to solve social problems.

Reopen the asylums, but make each one genuinely nice, like a good resort.

And implement a public-health program in which ordinary people can get problem-solving help so that they have more options, and those unfortunates who have dangerous psychoses or are pre-psychotc [i.e. the person is not there yet, but it's evident both to trained and lay people that it won't be long now] are taken into care in one of those nice residential asylums until they recover or for the rest of their lives, whichever comes first.

As to bear-baiting and similar perversions, make the grant of a hunting licence dependent on the hunter being able to demonstrate above-average skill as evidenced by the ability and will to make every kill an immediate, humane one.

Trying to control tools is a fool's errand, and in the case of weapons is also VERY serviceable to the ruling class. The rich almost never personally commit interpersonal violence; they buy it. Or, if powerful enough, force us to buy it for them with our taxes.

But they are vulnerable to being deposed as long as we proles aren't functionally disarmed. So we should work to prevent that being done to us, and not collude with the "poleznye duraki" who witlessly serve ruling-class desires for our powerlessness.

Anonymous said...

Just remember Hitler's germany was made out of a failed republic, it disarmed the population for their own good and then extermenated MILLIONS of defensless people. That failed republic was not that different than failing republics of today. Be careful of what you wish for as thousands per year killed are horrible but not near the numbers of millions in failed republics ( or failed states, as polite on the payroll intellectuals put it).

Yes gun vilolence is horrible, so is gun vilolence by dictorial republics ,by the numbers, can be far higher than what is happening today in failing western republics.

There is a reason the founding fathers put in a secound admendment right under the first. Without the first and secound admendments together in existance, all traces of democracy in a rebubic fades away.

Pretty simple the natural condition of a republic is third world chaos. The structure for a dictorial police state is already in place via the spy and police agencies,, if a dictator gets rid of the second admendment, hen the first is just a sham.

All is needed is third world economics for a long time, then a strong man emerges in a faild republic, this history repeats endlessly.

In essense in a fashion, gun control is supporting dictatoship and then by default genocide and mass murder.

Just ask isreal to disarm and also ask about nasty jewish history which is less than hundred years old.

Just be careful of what you wish for. A true deap thinking intellectual who is honest thinks about all of this when making a democracy design. The founding fathers got most everything right in their government design as per their times that leasds up today. Be very careful of kneejerk, emotional changes of that design, especially when powerful forces want dictorial control.

Anonymous said...

In essense if you remove the 2nd amendment, the first becomes a sham. If you want to argue that point take it up with the founding fathers. The suffering and death that comes from that change of democracy design is on the hands who do it. As per hilter's germany the numbers afflicted can be quite large, just one example. If one wants to echange the design of a democracy , better spend some deap thought about it.